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Our leadership team


Justin Helferich

CEO and General Manager, Manulife Cambodia

Mr. Justin Helferich is Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Manulife Cambodia. Prior to joining Manulife Cambodia, he was Chief Financial Officer of Manulife Insurance Berhad (“MIB”) in Malaysia where he started in November 2016.  

Before his appointment as the CFO of MIB, he was the CFO of Manulife Cambodia from 2014 to 2016. He also brings a wealth of experience from other parts of Manulife, having originally joined in 2010 through our John Hancock operations and going on to work in our Asia Regional Office.

Mr. Helferich has 15 years’ experience within the financial services sector in both United States & Asia. Before joining Manulife, he was a Senior Manager within the KPMG audit/advisory practice, serving primarily insurance companies.

He holds B.S. in Accounting from the University of Connecticut, Storrs and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license both from USA.

May Lin

AVP, Chief Financial Officer

May is the Chief Financial Officer of Manulife Cambodia. As a member of the Executive Management Team, she is responsible for financial management, profitability, risk management and solvency of Manulife Cambodia to meet growth objectives and goals within local regulations.

May is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries UK (FIA).  She holds a Master of Actuarial Science from Cass Business School in London and a Master of Engineering Science from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.  

May has around 15 years of actuarial and finance experience, covering corporate actuarial and finance, product development and pricing, economic capital, risk management and investment.  She has work for a number of leading life insurers and consultancies in the UK, Australia and Thailand. Prior to her actuarial career, May was a chartered civil engineer with experience spanning New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and UAE.

Tola Ponlu

AVP, Chief Partnership Officer

Tola Ponlu is Chief Partnership Officer at Manulife Cambodia. As a member of the Executive Management Team, he is responsible for the company’s bancassurance distribution channel.

Tola joined Manulife Cambodia on 7th March 2013 as Chief Marketing Officer and had moved to the current role of Chief Partnership Office on 1st June 2016. Tola is a highly motivated, strong-willed and self-confidence. He has been awarded Manulife Asia Star of Excellence twice in a row in 2013 and 2014 respectively and Global Star of Excellence in 2015 for his significant contributions toward building Manulife a world class brand in Cambodia. Tola is under IGNITE program 2016. Prior to Manulife Cambodia, Tola was Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs for British American Tobacco and spent for more than 8 years with this tobacco company both Cambodia and Vietnam.

Zdenek Rylich 

AVP, Chief Agency Officer

Zdenek Rylich is Chief Agency Officer at Manulife Cambodia. As a member of the Executive Management Team, he is responsible for managing Agency sales channel activities.

He has 18 years long experience in life insurance industry in Europe and Asia. Zdenek spent last 15 years in various position across Asia with ING, AIA and Allianz. His recent position prior to Manulife Cambodia was at Manulife Regional Office in Hong Kong with responsibility for Agency channel development in Emerging countries.

Sythan Prou

AVP, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer

Sythan Prou is the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer for Manulife Cambodia. As a member of the Executive Management Team, he is overseeing the company’s legal, compliance, and corporate secretary functions. 

Sythan has a blend of corporate, regulatory and academic work for more than 10 years. He joined Manulife during its setup stage in 2012 overseeing government liaison, industry lobbying, legal and compliance. Sythan is the first chief in-house counsel in Cambodia’s insurance sector. Prior to his current role, he was a career civil servant with the Royal Government of Cambodia for 8 years. He has received many honors including “40 Under 40” of Asian Legal Business (Thomson Reuters), Star of Excellence of Manulife Asia and Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyer of the Year of Finance Monthly. Sythan holds Master of International and Business Law from Yokohama National University (Japan) and Bachelor of Law and Diploma in Public Administration. He is currently doing Executive LLM at King’s College London. He is a member of Corporate Law Committee of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Vice Chairman of the Education and Public Relations Committee of Insurance Association of Cambodia and Vice President of JICA Alumni of Cambodia. He teaches law subjects in Cambodia’s leading universities, speaks in international conferences and writes for international publication.

Sambath Chau

AVP, Chief Operating Officer

Sambath Chau is Chief Operating Officer of Manulife Cambodia. As a member of the Executive Management Team, he is responsible for the company’s operation, new business, underwriting, claims, and customer services.

Sam joined Manulife Cambodia in 2013 after spending 24 years in the United States. He has more than 11 years of industry experience in North America and Asia. Having graduated from Boston College, Massachusetts with a BA in Political Science and International Studies in 2001, Sam joined John Hancock Financial in 2005. After his eight-year career handling New Business Operations in John Hancock, Sam returned to Cambodia where he recently in 2016, appointed as Chief Operations Officer for Manulife Cambodia. Born during the civil war and grew up in refugee camps in Cambodia, Sam is a fellow Cambodian-American who decided to come back home to help Cambodians build a better and more secure financial future for themselves.

Nara Kann

Chief Client Officer

Nara Kann is Chief Client Officer at Manulife Cambodia. As a member of the Executive Management Team, she is overseeing Marketing, Communications and Customer functions of the company.

Nara joined Manulife Cambodia in 2012 as the first Cambodian actuary in the country after spending 16 years in the United States. Nara has been appointed Chief Client Officer in January 2018. Nara graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree from the University of Texas in Austin with a concentration in Actuarial Science. She is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA). She came to Manulife with 10 years of experience in insurance and consulting with top consulting firms such as Watson Wyatt Worldwide and Aon Hewitt. Prior to the current role, Nara has played a key role in the actuarial and product development functions, where she successfully implemented a wide range of products for customers. She was awarded Asia Stars of Excellence in 2012 for her outstanding achievements.

Samedy You

Chief Human Resources Officer

Samedy is Chief Human Resources Officer of Manulife Cambodia. As a member of the Executive Management Team, he is responsible for overseeing the Company’s Human Resources function and providing leadership to the people and culture elements of the Company.

Samedy joined Manulife Cambodia on 29th September 2014 as Manager, Human Resources Operations and has been promoted to Chief Human Resources Office on 1st May 2015. Prior to Manulife, Samedy has over 13 years’ experiences in Human Resources field of which 6 years in three garment factories and over 7 years in Cambodia Airports. Born in Siem Reap province of Cambodia and moved to live in Phnom Penh in 1998 for Bachelor degree of Management. Continue living in Phnom Penh till date due to married and build up a new family here with two daughters.

Pichhemy Ros

Chief Digital and Technology Officer 

Ms. Hemy is Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Manulife Cambodia. As a member of the Executive Management Team, she is overseeing the technology and digital transformation functions for the company.

Prior to Manulife, Hemy brings in solid 16 years of experiences in delivery of digital projects for customers across the globe. Her recent role was with ABA Bank, a leading technological bank in Cambodia, where she supports with setting up the digital team and leading the effort for the delivery of digital initiatives. 

Hemy is a certified professional scrum master and hold a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Institute of Technology of Cambodia.